Knowing the capabilities and drawbacks of laser and waterjet machines is the key in determining which is best for a particular application.
August 26, 2008 | By Michael Bishop
Hawkeye Industries Inc., Tupelo, Miss., was getting more and more orders for parts that required both punching and laser cutting. To meet the growing demand, the company purchased a combination punch/laser machine. Some shops are more suited than others to this technology—combination machines can increase profits for some companies, and costs for others. Shop owners should keep five key things in mind when evaluating and purchasing a combination punch/laser machine.
August 26, 2008 | By Mark Richmond
With sales forecasts predicting that fiber laser sales will increase by 16 percent, to $323 million, in 2008—$112 million of that in metal processing industries—this year is being called the year of the fiber laser. A closer look at the technology shows why this might be true.
July 15, 2008
This article was developed from the Comparative Cutting Panel conducted at the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association's Metal Matters conference in Orlando, Fla., March 2008. The participants included Rick Neff (Cincinnati Incorporated), Chris Maier (Flow International), Jeff Hahn (MC Machinery Systems Inc./Mitsubishi Laser), Ron Schneider (Messer MG Systems & Welding Inc.), and Al Julian (W.A. Whitney Co., a division of MegaFab).
July 15, 2008 | By Erin Chasse
Not only can today's laser optics handle more power, they also enhance beam quality, reduce maintenance, increase power delivered to the cutting head, and improve mode stability.
June 17, 2008 | By Dan Davis
This roundup of laser lens providers gives tips on extending the life of lenses used in laser cutting.
June 17, 2008 | By Tim Heston
How can laser technology make metal fabrication more efficient? The efficiency comes not only from advances within the laser itself, but also in new ways to integrate those lasers for optimal part flow on the shop floor. Several presenters at ALAW 2008 hammered this point home.
January 15, 2008 | By Rich Greene
Lasers are capable of cutting thin-gauge metal and plate at incredible speeds and with outstanding results. But a laser also is capable of great damage to operators if the proper safety steps are not followed. To keep everyone safe and the laser cutting machine operating, a fabricating operation should have a safety program in place.
January 15, 2008 | By Tim Heston
Meeting a challenge sometimes requires out-of-the box thinking. One contract manufacturer employed a thorough knowledge of laser cutting, determination, ingenuity, and tenacity to successfully laser cut difficult-to-process materials.
December 11, 2007
Hype Manufacturing invested in a horizontal machining center, two lathes, two vertical machining centers, a universal milling machine, tube bending equipment, a press brake, a laser cutting system, and a waterjet to support its racing effort.
December 11, 2007 | By Rick Neff
The new high-powered lasers allow fab shops to serve a broader range of custom needs.
October 9, 2007 | By Dale A. Sabo
Remote laser welding operations, many of which rely on a laser scanner to deflect the beam to the weld area, require high-beam-quality lasers. Years ago this meant that they were used only with high-power CO2 lasers. As the beam quality of Nd:YAG, disk, and fiber-optic lasers have improved, these lasers also have become suitable for remote welding, allowing the scanners to be smaller and faster.
October 9, 2007 | By Michael Monaghan
As with so many other ventures in life, successfully implementing a laser automation system rests on one key practice: communication.
October 9, 2007 | By Richard Green
Several modes of nitrogen assist gas supply exist, but with choice comes the potential of saddling your business with overhead costs that make it difficult to compete. The best approach is to map out a growth strategy, using each option's performance and value, that coincides with monthly nitrogen usage.
August 8, 2007 | By James Rogowski
The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency.—Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft Corp.To say Mr. Gates lived his conviction successfully would be a vast understatement. To say following his path would be...